Earlier this week I wrote a post that was a bit dark and depressing. I didn’t post it, because whenever I write those posts I like to sit on them for a few days before sharing with the internet. The gist of the post was that I was feeling like a failure as an adult. Once again I had been subjected to the opinion of someone who doesn’t understand my job. The idea that because I teach preschool, I don’t really teach, makes me crazy. Part of what I originally wrote was…
“In college, I was idealistic. I was convinced that I was going to become this fantastic teacher and I was going to inspire the next generations to pinnacles of success. I would arouse the interest of future history makers with my stories of the history makers of the past. I would never doubt the mark I was leaving on the future, because I would be able to see it in the eyes of my students.
Instead, I teach skills so basic most people don’t even realize they’re learned behaviors. I teach children to use the toilet. I teach them to wash their hands, a skill most of them won’t even hold onto anyway, if restaurant behavior means anything. I teach them not to pick their noses, to use silverware instead of their hands at the table, when to yell and when to speak gently.”
Then I rambled morosely for several paragraphs before ending with a challenge to myself. “I just wrote an assessment of a three year-old I could have written about myself, ‘She knows her strengths, but avoids activities that challenge or will allow for growth’. I need to find a way to challenge myself.” All I really needed out of that post was the final line. I need to find a way to challenge myself.